Twitter announces it will stop counting ‘media’ and ‘@names’ within 140 character limit

In perhaps the biggest change to its service since its inception, Twitter on Tuesday announced a bunch of changes meant to distance itself from the controversial 140-character-per-tweet rule.

As previously rumored, media links generated by attaching photos, animated GIFs, videos, polls, quoted tweets and direct messages—along with @names in replies—will no longer count toward the limit.

Other changes include the addition of the retweet button on your own tweets and automatically exposing any tweets which begin with a username to all your followers.

The latter feature is bound to be welcomed by Twitter’s community, even more so by newcomers who are more often than not confused by Twitter’s rules.

Currently, tweeting out something that starts with a @user mention would only make the tweet visible to that person. People have been circumventing this rule by starting such tweets with a period, followed by a @user mention and the text of the tweet.

Although @names that auto-populate at the start of a reply tweet will no longer count towards the character limit, new non-reply tweets starting with a @mention will count, as will @mentions added explicitly by the user in the body of the tweet.

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